The rest of my time in Arizona is nice. Eric and I go on an actual date, which we haven’t done since before we became a couple. It was a simple dinner date, but it was nice. I even got Eric to dance with me. He’s getting better. We’ll keep working on it.
I fly back to Utah with him and before we go back to the apartment we stop to copy our keys. He was right; this does make it feel official.
“Too bad you can’t come out to California with me to help me pack,” I say while we wait for the new keys to be cut.
“I can come for a weekend,” he offers. “You know Alyssa will want to come.”
“Well you know I wouldn’t mind her coming with, but what about her mother? Is she going to be okay with that?” I’m not looking forward to meeting Aude, but I know it’s inevitable.
“Shit, I’ve been so caught up in Arizona and you moving I forgot about her. You’re right; she’s not going to let it happen even after you meet her. It’ll probably be a while before she’s good with the kids going to California with me.”
“Honestly, I don’t blame her. If I was in her shoes I probably wouldn’t want my ex-husband’s mistress turned girlfriend hanging around my kids either.”
I sometimes wonder if Eric really thought about the consequences of what he was doing. I know he doesn’t regret being with me, but it has certainly complicated his life. There’s no more instant access to his kids and I’m not convinced it would be as easy as he thinks it is to get custody of Alyssa full-time. Not because he’s a bad father, but because he travels for work and now he’s got a former prostitute moving in with him. I hope that Alyssa wanting to live with Eric would be enough for a judge, but I’m a bit more cynical, I guess.
“I don’t think Aude wants to meet you. I know Alyssa has talked about you and she hasn’t told me if Aude has said anything bad again. She has been a lot more civil though. I think getting all that pussy is helping her chill out.”
I giggle and say, “It’s made you happier, so maybe.”
“That is has,” he nods with a grin.
When the keys are done we take them and Eric decides he wants to look for a new paint color for our room. It’s plain white right now and he says he doesn’t want it to look so clinical.
“I bought the green and white comforter, should we keep with that theme for the room?” he asks as we look through paint swatches.
“If you want. Green would be pretty particular, though. Don’t get me wrong, I love green but I don’t know if I want it on my walls,” I crinkle my nose.
The comforter Eric bought is pretty and I like that shade of green but it’s a really bright color that would probably look better on the walls in a kid’s room or a nursery.
“I’m terrible with colors, what do you think would be good on walls? Should we do an accent wall? I hear about those on TV all the time.”
“An accent wall?” I lift my eyebrows. What has he been watching? “If you really want green then we should go darker, like a mossier green instead of lime. We could go with a rusty red. Then the comforter would contrast.”
“Oh, I love that,” he nods. “It won’t look like Christmas will it?”
“Only if you start collecting Santas and snowmen.”
“Mmm, no, I doubt it,” he says completely serious.
“Otherwise we could go with a bronze sort of color. That would work with green or red bedding if we get sick of looking at the green,” I suggest.
“I like the rusty red. Bronze reminds me of all the dudes on the 300 movie for some reason.” He’s so serious it’s cute.
“Yeah,” I say dreamily, earning me a raised eyebrow.
“Gerard Butler’s abs were airbrushed,” he grumbles and starts looking through the red swatches. “Mine are better anyway.”
“You’re not a gladiator,” I say, and get a little tingle.
“So if I was a gladiator you’d get that look in your eye when you think about me?”
“Absolutely,” I nod. I look at Eric and the thought of him dressed up like a gladiator… I need new panties.
“You’re imagining it right now aren’t you?” he grins.
“Oh yes. Too bad we’re not at home.”
“We don’t need paint. It was just a thought. Since you’re all horny for me now, we can go.”
“Are you sure? We’re onto something with the red–”
“No, we should go. The red will still be here,” he cuts me off and takes my hand to lead me to the cashier.
We pay for the keys and then head out to my car. The apartment is only three blocks away. When we pull into a parking spot Eric and I get our bags from the back and he insists I try out my new key to make sure it works. Of course since he knows what I was thinking in the hardware store he’s all hands while I work the locks. The bolt slides over and I smile.
“Looks like we’re in business. Are you sure you want me to keep this?” I ask as Mr. Grabbyhands grabs my tits.
“I’m positive,” he says and turns me around to kiss me.
We get caught up with kissing and Eric pushes the door open behind us. As soon as we’re in he pushes me up against the door to shut it. We drop our bags and he lifts me up so my legs can wrap around his waist. He rubs his growing erection against my core and I moan into his kisses.
“Bedroom,” I whisper against his lips as he cups my ass.
“As you wish,” he purrs and starts walking toward the room.
The bedroom door is closed but I reach back to open it. The door flies open and Eric damn near drops me.
“WHAT THE FUCK?!” he yells and I turn to see what he’s screaming about.
There on the edge of the bed is Chris, half naked, with some girl’s head in his lap. He’s… she’s… they’re… oh my God.
“Dad!” Christian squeaks and pulls his little girlfriend up off her knees, trying to cover himself in the process. Thankfully she still has most of her clothes on.
“I…” Eric is at a loss for words as it seems we all are.
Eric turns his back to his youngest son and bangs his head against the wall. “Get dressed,” he snaps and walks out of the room.
Since I have nothing to add I turn and follow Eric out of the room. I can hear Chris and the girl he’s with bickering with each other and a few seconds later they come out of the room. I don’t get too close to Eric because he looks like he’s ready to explode and he could probably use some space.
He looks at Chris, making him cower a little. Eric’s eyes travel to the young girl with his son and then back to Chris and gives him a look that says he better start talking now.
“You were out of town,” Chris says and Eric’s face gets a little redder.
“Uh… I… she… um…” he stammers.
I stay quiet and the little Goth girl who looks to be about the same age as Christian stays quiet too. I’m not saying anything unless someone speaks to me first.
“You–” Christian is shut down before he can say something stupid. I’ve seen Eric upset, but he’s scary mad right now.
“Little girl,” Eric snaps and she jumps. “Who are you?”
“Crystal,” she says quietly.
Eric looks back at Chris. I can only imagine what’s going through his head right now.
“Crystal, we’re calling your parents,” he says while staring at his son who looks terrified.
“No, please don’t,” she begs, looking like she’s going to burst into tears.
Eric cocks an eyebrow at her. He’s calling, and her begging only makes him want to call more. I feel bad for the girl. She made a mistake by coming here but I’m sure Chris was pretty convinced they wouldn’t get caught like this or he wouldn’t have come here. I remember being fifteen and sneaking around with boys like this. Quite honestly I probably would have done something similar back then.
“Sookie,” Eric calls me and walks into the bedroom. I assume he wants me to follow so I do. He closes the door behind us, leaving the kids in the living room. “Would you mind taking her home?”
“Yeah, sure,” I nod. I’d ask if he’s okay but he’s obviously not.
“Thank you… do you think I should call her mom and dad?” he asks. She was so scared he’s probably a little conflicted.
“You could, but Chris is the one you’re mad at. He’s the one that violated your trust,” I remind him.
“Mmhmm,” he hums. “I’m sure her parents would call if they found my son getting a blowjob at their house.”
“It’s your call, Eric. Do what you think is right.”
“Alright, if you can take her I have to talk to my son.” He turns his back and walks to the living room again.
I follow him out of the room and say, “Crystal, I’m going to drive you home.”
“Okay,” she nods meekly and looks over at Chris. He shocks Eric and me both when he walks over to her and gives her a tight hug, whispering something in her ear before he gives her a sweet kiss on the side of her mouth.
I shoot Eric a look but he’s too pissed off to be moved. I open the door for Crystal and she walks out of the apartment. We walk out to my car in silence and as I start the car I notice she’s crying. I reach over and open the glove box to get her a napkin.
“Here,” I hand it to her.
“Thanks,” she says glumly. “You’re Sookie, right? Chris says lots of nice things about you.”
“That’s good to hear,” I say as I back out of my space.
“How much trouble do you think Chris is in?”
“I think you’ll only be seeing him at school for a while,” I tell her. “Are you in the same grade?”
“No, I’m a junior,” she says with a sniffle.
“Are you dating each other?”
“Sort of. Mostly we just hang out because I’m not supposed to date. My dad is really overprotective,” she explains. “And my family is Mormon so I’m not supposed to get involved with anyone that isn’t.”
I nod and she rambles on about how much she likes Chris between directing me to her house. It turns out she lives down the block from Chris. We actually drive right past Alyssa, who tries to flag me down. Now’s not the time and she’ll just ask a million questions so I wave but keep driving without stopping.
When I pull into her driveway Crystal says, “I know you don’t have to help me, but if there’s any way to keep Mr. Northman from calling my parents I would appreciate it. That was the first time I ever… I mean we’ve never…”
I get it.
“I’ll see what I can do,” I say but don’t make any promises.
“Thanks for the ride,” she says sadly and gets out of the car.
I pull out of the driveway and decide to take my time getting back. I’m sure they’re going to need a while to talk things over.
“What were you thinking?” I ask my son as soon as Sookie and his friend walk out the front door.
“We just… I didn’t think you were going to be here and her parents only want her to date Mormon guys–”
“You shouldn’t be dating anyone, let alone getting blowjobs.” I’ve had a sex talk with him already; I didn’t expect him to put it into play so soon.
“It’s not like she was going to get pregnant,” he says.
“Because she was going to suck you off, and then stop there? You forget I was fifteen once. I know how this shit works,” I say. I’m trying not to be mad, but it’s really hard not to be.
“Maybe I’m not that dumb, Dad. We aren’t having sex,” he says. “I know I screwed up by coming here but I’m not sorry about what we were doing.”
Of course he isn’t. “I don’t know what to say to you, Chris.” I sit back on the couch and close my eyes.
“Can’t we just say this is one of those stupid things kids do to see if they can get away with it?” Chris suggests. “I’m sorry, Dad. I swear it’ll never happen again.”
“Against my better judgment, we can chalk it up to teenager stupidity,” I sigh. “I love you, kid, and I’m going to trust you… I would also like you to bring her over so I can meet her properly.”
“Yeah sure,” he nods.
“We can give her a couple weeks so she can have a chance to calm down. You like her a lot?” I ask. If he’s serious about her I want to know as much as possible.
“She’s pretty cool.” Chris’ eyes are on his feet. Yeah, he likes her.
“She seems nice, even when I was ready to rip her head off,” I remind him.
“She is,” he agrees. “I’m the idiot here, Dad, not her.”
“I know,” I nod.
“So does this mean I can go home?” he asks.
“I’ll take you,” I say and stand up to get my keys. “I’m not going to tell your mom this time.”
“Thanks,” he says. “I actually don’t mind walking. Mom has a friend over so I don’t really want to go home right away.”
“You can stay here, it’s your house too,” I remind him. “You have a room in case you forgot.”
“Yeah, but Crystal’s right down the block from home, so…”
He’s got it bad.
“Suit yourself,” I shrug. “You know I love you, and I love having you around.”
“Yeah I love you too,” he says, and it’s obvious he wants to go.
“Call me when you get home,” I remind him as I walk him to the bottom of the stairs.
I watch my youngest son walk away knowing he’s a little more… mature for lack of a better term. He really is a good kid and I could’ve spent all night screaming at him, or embarrassing him in front of his girlfriend, but I’m giving him a break.
I take my phone out of my pocket and shoot Sookie a text to tell her it’s okay to come home and then I walk up to the apartment to wait for her. The first thing I do is change the sheets. I know he wasn’t on them, but better safe than sorry. The worst part is, if he was in his own room he would’ve been able to get her out without me noticing.
I’m throwing our clothes in the washer when Sookie comes walking in, using her new key. I smile.
“Everything okay?” she asks and comes over to give me a much needed hug.
“Yeah,” I sigh, “It’s rough seeing them grow up.”
“If it makes you feel any better Crystal really likes Chris a lot,” she says. “She seems like a nice girl.”
“He won’t really admit it, but he’s completely smitten with her. It’s cute,” I smile. “I’m not going to tell Aude, so I won’t tell her parents either. If they fuck up again I’ll tell everyone. I also told him I want to meet her properly.”
“That’s a good idea. Have them over for dinner or something.”
“Maybe you can try cooking for them,” I grin. She has so much potential in the kitchen.
“There’s a way to make sure she never comes back,” Sookie snickers. “Come for dinner and stay for the free food poisoning.”
“We can do it together,” I suggest. “I’ve already changed the sheets too.”
“They aren’t having sex. Crystal said that was the first time either of them did that… ever.”
“I know, he told me the same thing and I trust him. He’s never lied to me about anything before.”
“She cried the whole way home,” Sookie informs me.
“Poor girl; I probably scared the shit out of her.” I showed them a side they will probably never see again. Until I find out Alyssa has sex. I’ll murder that little fucker and make no apologies.
“Probably but I think she was more afraid Chris would breakup with her.” Sookie steps back and goes to the linen closet to get towels.
“He’s going to see her now, that’ll make her feel better.”
“I’m sure they’ll find another place to play doctor in no time,” she says and heads for the bedroom.
“Don’t say things like that,” I call after her.
“Sorry, I forgot you prefer living in denial,” she calls back, and a few seconds later I see her naked form go into the bathroom.
I follow her into the bathroom and tell her, “It’s easier on my heart that way. Are you showering or taking a bath?”
“I was going to take a bath and have dirty thoughts about gladiators,” she admits and starts the water.
“Wait until I come in wearing a pair of brown gladiator panties and Leonidas’ red cape rocking my sexy abs,” I say and rub my hands over her shoulders.
“Gladiator panties, huh?”
“Panties, loin cloth, it all looks the same,” I shrug and kiss the side of her head.
“So then why don’t you have lacy red panties of your own?” Sookie asks. “Trust me, they’re not the same. But feel free to model both so I might be proven wrong.”
“It doesn’t matter; you’ll be impressed by the abs, that’s my point.”
“What’s with you and the abs all of a sudden? Do you… Are you jealous?”
“No,” I shake my head. I’m not jealous at all.
“So if I said Gerard Butler’s abs are the sexiest I’ve ever seen?”
“I’d kindly inform you they’re fake, and he’s actually pretty fat,” I say matter of fact.
“Then it’s a good thing in my head I could use them to grate cheese,” she sighs happily, and steps into the tub.
“That’s disgusting,” I cringe and sit on the edge of the tub. “Who would want to rub cheese up and down someone’s stomach?”
Sookie rolls her eyes. “It was a metaphor, Eric.”
“I know. Want me to wash your back?”
“If you want.”
“Sit forward,” I direct her and grab her loofah from the shelf.
Sookie does as I ask and hugs her knees. I squeeze some body wash onto the loofah and rub it around her back.
“I think I want a hot tub, or we can go to California more often,” I mentioned absently.
“We could go on the weekends,” she says. “At least until we find a house we love.”
“Yeah, unless I have the kids.”
“Well yeah, of course.”
“I could be wrong; she might allow me to take them. I haven’t asked how she feels about it, and she has been a lot better about things,” I say and rub further down her back.
“The kids are welcome to come out, as far as I’m concerned. It’s all up to her.”
“I know, thank you for accepting them,” I smile and lean down to kiss her head. “I’ll talk to her this week. Maybe we can get Chris to do manual labor and make him pack for you as his punishment for having a girl over when we weren’t here.”
“Thanks, but I’d rather pack my own stuff.”
“Suit yourself.” I put the loofah away and use my hand to scoop water over her back to rinse the soap off. “Are you hungry?”
“A little. Mostly I want to take a nap,” she says as she leans back.
“I can make you something to eat while you’re in the bath if you want. Or we can eat after a nap. It has been a long day.”
“I’ll wait until after I nap,” she says. “But if you’re hungry you should eat. I can figure something out later.”
“Alright.” I lean down and kiss Sookie’s temple. I never make it too the kitchen. I end up sitting on the bed for a few minutes before lying down and before I know it I’m asleep before Sookie gets out of the tub.